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I. Introduction (10 Minutes)
- Pray for all of the couples.
II. Sharing Session (86 Minutes)
- Ask what they wrote on pages 26-27 in the handbook (3 minutes).
- Reemphasize your expectation that homework be done.
- Be aware to call on people who wrote answers to the questions.
- Briefly remind the group about the three chairs on the side (2 minutes).
- Introduce the person from the first chair; others slide down; someone fills in the last chair.
- Allow them to come as volunteers—volunteer them if you need to.
- Have them answer the questions on page 30 in the handbook.
- Encourage them not to read answers from the page but to talk freely.
- Have questions written on the back board where all can see them.
- Explain again how applause gives affirmation and support.
- Remind them to use page 33 in the handbook notes on deeper insights into their mate.
- Remind them to use the same page to prepare for the class encouragement time.
- Start the group sharing (80 minutes).
- You and your assistant go first—be open and answer each properly, not using notes.
- Fill your sharing chairs.
- Introduce the first sharer.
- Applaud after each sharer.
- Affirm each sharer in turn.
- Introduce each new sharer in turn.
- Do this until everyone shares and is affirmed by you.
- Recap and vote for the person showing the most insight into understanding how to meet their spouse’s emotional needs (3 minutes).
- No one votes until the recap concludes.
- The assistant collects the votes.
- No one ever hears there was a tie.
- The assistant breaks ties for first or third place and fills in the card or book.
- Dismiss the group to their break.
III. Break (15 Minutes)
IV. Final Session (30 Minutes)
- Present the award to the recipient (2 minutes).
- Ask the top three honorees to stand one at a time and applaud for each.
- Make sure all honorees sit down together before presenting the award.
- Have the award recipient thank the group and share the book for written encouragement.
- Explain next week’s homework (3 minutes)—refer to page 34 in handbook.
- Closing Activity: Have each person stand and tell his or her spouse what he/she will do for the spouse (15 minutes).
- Model for the group first by sharing your commitments with each other (Remember to hold each other to your commitments!).
- Explain the parameters of their commitments.
- Give the commitment a time limit.
- Make it a specific action.
- Make it something constructive.
- Remind them to consult their prayer notes.
- The only response allowed is “I hold you to your commitment.”
- Ask each person write his or her commitment in his or her handbook on page 31
- Write down the commitment you receive on page 31 as well.
- Remind the couples to compare what they wrote on page 31 when they get home to avoid disappointment later.
- Group affirmation (14 minutes)
- Give everyone 30 seconds to select one person who touched him or her, and thank the person for his or her message, attitude, example, or encouragement.
- Remind everyone to confer with his or her Prayer Notes.
- Keep time on each person to avoid going over time.
- If your time runs out before the entire group has an opportunity to affirm another, stop the activity anyway.
V. Conclusion (5 Minutes)
- “What did you learn tonight?”
- Give a brief, encouraging pep talk.
- Closing prayer (You lead this prayer, or ask a member of the class to lead it for everyone.)
Class Preparation Checklist:
- Listen to “Facilitator Skills” and “Session 4” messages on the Facilitator audio message.
- Pray for each couple by name; pray for God to use you.
- Prepare the name tags.
- Bring an award to class.
- Bring extra pens.
- Bring a box of facial tissue.
- Bring ballots to class.
- Make sure the refreshments are coming.
Classroom Set-up Checklist
- Arrange room furniture for classroom set-up.
- Eliminate outside viewing of the classroom.
- Put “Do Not Enter” signs on all doors to the classroom.
- Write the sharing session questions on the board (see page 30 in the student handbook).